By Megan Bertrand
Parent conferences should be a time where school leaders and parents work together to support student learning by creating a space where meaningful, child-specific conversations take place.
When students are at school, they have many unique behavioral interactions with other students, teachers, school leaders, coaches, support staff, etc. Kickboard allows school leaders to assign positive, negative or neutral values to different types of behaviors and provides a digital space for staff to record and document these interactions in order to learn from and analyze them later.
The information collected by teachers in Kickboard indicates how students are doing in each class and throughout the day. This individual student data can be a powerful tool for school leaders when meeting with parents.
During parent conferences, school leaders and teachers can reference multiple Kickboard reports, which give parents an easily-accessible view of the behavior patterns of their child. Together, school leaders and parents can use data recorded by the teachers to identify specific classes, teachers, or time frames where a child may be displaying a certain behavior, as well as celebrate positive behavior choices a student is making.
Using the data during a conference allows the conversation to be student-focused and action-driven. After the conference has concluded parents and school leaders should continue to monitor the student’s behavior on Kickboard and celebrate or address changes in behavior.
Here are some best practices for using Kickboard when meeting with parents.
1. Do your background research
Before meeting with a parent, print the student's behavior report from Kickboard and highlight specific areas that should be celebrated or addressed during the meeting. Kickboard has multiple report options where you can show visuals of behavior patterns or print a detailed behavior log with teacher comments. Print an extra copy for the parent so they can follow along during your conversation and take it home.
Prior to your meeting, review the data to identify positive pieces to celebrate, and areas for growth where the child’s behavior could improve. In addition, print the student's Family Portal Access Code so that you can review with the parent how to communicate and follow-up after your initial meeting.
Kickboard’s analysis tools are also a great place to gather student-specific information for a conference. Analyze the student’s positivity ratio to show how staff are interacting with the child, or pull up a table of interactions to see which specific behaviors are tracked the most often for the student.
2. Start with a positive
From the interactions table on Answers, choose something positive to share about the child. This can either be a behavior pattern, or specific teacher comments. You can also explain the currency system or SEL curriculum that your school uses so the parent can understand the numeric representation to the specific interaction being recorded. Emphasize the importance of recognizing and rewarding positive behaviors both at home and at school.
3. Review the corrective data
The data located in Kickboard allows schools to easily identify trends and further determine areas for improvement. For example, once you review both the individual child and classroom teacher’s data, you may notice that a child is frequently recorded as being off task during math instruction, which can be a topic of discussion and action planning with the parent during the conference. This data gives the school leader context to build from when discussing not only the parent concerns but possible solutions that could be implemented on an individual level.
4. Determine next steps
Together, determine a plan that addresses the specific behavior pattern and focuses on actionable outcomes for the student. Discuss how the teacher will use Kickboard as a way to communicate classroom interactions so parents can have specific look-fors which will foster a team-based approach and allow for positive reinforcement both in school and at home. It’s best to choose one specific behavior to focus on correcting, and not pile on multiple issues in one conference.
5. Provide the tools for success
Using their student-specific Family Portal Access Code, help the parent login and teach them how to see behavior information on their child’s account. The student can access their information with a separate login, so that all parties are aware of the behavior progress and student actions taking place at school.
6. Communicate and follow up
If the conference is led by an administrator and the teacher is not present, the school leader can use Kickboard to communicate the actions discussed with the family back to the teacher. Create a behavior button on Kickboard titled “Parent Conference With School Leader” where the school leader can document when they have met with a parent and include notes as to what was discussed, as well as the action plan and follow-up process. This way communication is consistent, and the teacher is informed about meeting topics and how they can support that child in the classroom.